WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A Texas mother who unnecessarily put her young son through needless doctors’ visits has been sentenced to six years in prison.
- Kaylene Bowen-Wright, 36, subjected her son Christopher through 13 needless surgeries that ultimately left him in a wheelchair and with a feeding tube.
- Her lawyers argued she suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy and requested therapy for their client rather than jail time.
A Texas mother who unnecessarily put her son through 13 major surgeries that left him in a wheelchair and with a feeding tube has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Since her son, Christopher’s premature birth, 36-year-old Kaylene Bowen-Wright claimed that he was sick. She fabricated that he had a rare genetic disorder and then later claimed he had terminal cancer.
By the time Christopher turned 8, Bowen-Wright had taken him at least 323 times at hospitals and pediatric centers in Dallas and Houston and put him to 13 needless surgeries, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
According to the newspaper, the boy lived with a feeding tube for the majority of his life, spent time in a wheelchair and was even in hospice care. His two siblings were convinced he had only months to live.
One of the most invasive procedures he underwent was having a feeding tube implanted straight into his small intestine. This caused him multiple life-threatening blood infections, according to court documents.
In August, Bowen-Wright pleaded guilty to causing serious bodily injury to a child. Her lawyers, however, argued she suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy — a disorder in which a caretaker fabricates the appearance of illness in a child for attention from medical professionals — and asked therapy for their client rather than jail time, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Prosecutors requested at least eight years of jail time — the length of time she subjected Christopher to the unnecessary treatments and surgeries.
Lead prosecutor Jennifer Sawyer said, “She stole Christopher’s childhood. It’s hard to even say where her victims stop.”
Sawyer noted that Christopher’s family and friends also endured pain, thinking the boy was dying.
The boy’s father, Ryan Crawford, said in an interview that Bowen-Wright would repeatedly tell him and Dallas County family court judges that Christopher was ill despite the dad’s skepticism.
“She was always saying Christopher was sick. Every single week. Every single month,” the dad said. “She would always say, ‘Something’s wrong. He has this. He has that.'”
“I’m glad there was a judge that was able to stand up for Christopher,” Crawford told the paper of his son, who is now 10 and living in his care.